Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/26/2010 07:03:49 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – A woman who believes government officials denied her the right to vote on whether her neighborhood should be merged into the city has filed a lawsuit in a new attempt to block the annexation.

Susan Hulse, who attempted to convince officials to undo the annexations, filed the lawsuit in San Bernardino Superior Court on Thursday. The lawsuit names the city of San Bernardino and the San Bernardino Local Agency Formation Commission as defendants.

Hulse lives in one of six areas that have been recently annexed to San Bernardino. The annexations were approved by elected officials who serve on a low-profile commission, not the public vote that Hulse argues was needed.

“If you can take away my right to vote, what else can you take away?,” Hulse asked in a telephone interview.

The Local Agency Formation Commission, which is also known as Lafco, approved San Bernardino’s annexations of six county islands. Lafco’s board of directors first approved the annexations in November. The panel rejected Hulse’s attempt to reverse that decision on Feb. 17.

Lafco officials pushed forward with the annexations under the commission’s interpretation of a 2005 state law that allows cities, under certain conditions, to incorporate county pockets without a vote of residents.

The law’s intent is to make local government more efficient by allowing cities to smooth out the often confusing boundaries between incorporated and unincorporated areas.

One of the conditions that allows annexations to take place without a vote is the provision that islands contain less than 150 acres of land.

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